The smoky ghost of summer present settles in,
looking like it wants to linger.
stealer of things we longed for during the bleak mid-winter of 2020.
pretty in one sense,
tragic in another.
Ash on the green beans
and unused patio chairs
and geraniums that I water every day
and enjoy through a window.
Lost homes, lost dreams,
Rage, in the name of
lost children, lost dignity,
We either know it all or nothing
depending on which side of the fence we stand
and who we stand with.
Evacuation alerts and orders.
“Go bags” packed and plans in place.
The cacophony of late-night banging on doors
and ringing doorbells.
Gas tanks full.
Eyes scanning the horizon (when the horizon can be seen).
We pray for rain, but no lightening
wind, but not too much.
Firefighters. First responders. Helicopter pilots. Evacuees.
Our mental health.
We smell it in our cars and in our homes.
It clings to our clothes like a codependent phantom.
Housebound again. Held hostage by a haint.